Interaction: Activity 4

Co-construction of Comparative Statements

Watch Anna B and Sophia as they interact in the Comparison Task. The learners are asked to find differences between two pictures of houses and make inferences about who lives in each house, their social class, and what the differences in houses tell us about American culture. The task requires that they make comparisons. Korean has many structures that can be used for comparison including:

Adjective 이 집은 저 집보다 커요.
Adverb 이 집은 저 집보다 아주 돈이 많아요.
Noun 이 집에는 부자 가족이 살고 있어요.
Particle 이 집에는 가족이 두 명 살아요. 그 집에도 가족이 두 명 살아요.
Conjunction 이 집에는 두 명만 사는데, 그 집에는 네 명이 살아요.
Connector 이 집에는 두 명만 살아요. 하지만, 그 집에는 네 명이 살아요.
  1. Using the list above, categorize the words and structures that Anna B and Sophia used to express similarities and differences. How did they scaffold each other’s efforts to express similarities and differences?

  2. If Anna B and Sophia were completing this task in your classroom, given the words and structures they are currently using, what structures could you scaffold for them and how could you provide that scaffolding at the moment that they need it in a way that accelerates their movement toward self-regulation with the language?
Comparison Task

Transcript (PDF)

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  1. The two learners are scaffolding one another in this interaction as they try to express the idea that the occupants of the houses belong to two different socioeconomic classes: one family is upper or middle class, and the other is poor or working class. Neither learner knows these abstract vocabulary words in Korean, so they work together to express these meanings by using simpler and more concrete vocabulary.

    Anna B uses an adjective ‘비싸다’(expensive) and a phrase ‘돈이 많다’(have much money). When she explains that the bigger house seems to be expensive and more people live there as well as own a car, Sophia provides scaffolding with a noun ‘부자 가족’ (rich family). Then, Anna B agrees with her by saying that the family living in the house has a lot of money. Sophia also uses an adjective ‘작아요’ (small), a particle ‘-만’ (only) and a negation phrase ‘돈이 없다’ (have no money) when she talks about the smaller house. These two learners do not use comparative forms here; rather, in order to contrast the economic status of the occupants of the two houses, Sophia uses a connector ‘하지만’ (but).

    Anna B Sophia

    조금 작다 ‘a bit small’
    비싸다 ‘expensive’
    멀다 ‘far’
    아주 다르다 ‘very different’

    제 집도 ‘my house also’

    작아요 ‘small’

    부자 가족 ‘rich family’

    두 명만 ‘only two people’

    하지만 ‘but’

  2. First, Anna B and Sophia could be given some minutes to complete the comparison task on their own. Then, while they are accomplishing the task together, the teacher could monitor their language use and identify possible comparison expressions that they might use. Particularly, both learners have not used the comparison marker “-보다” (than) in their utterances. Thus, the teacher might help learners to reformulate their original sentences using this comparison marker. Also, the teacher might help the learners to combine the two simple sentences into one sentence by using connectives such as “-는데” or “-지만” (but). The teacher also might give the learners a writing assignment using similar sets of pictures, giving them another chance to review the instructed comparison forms.


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